Rockabilly time travel hits stage Thursday night

Dave Mathieson
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The Shakedown Combo’s Davie Goode (left) was rehearsing songs yesterday afternoon with Justin Trueman, on bass, and Drew Pelagato on keyboards. They are preparing for the opening night of Where in the World is Billy, which kicks off its three-day run Thursday night at ARHS.

AMHERST – If you begin to feel anxious when you can’t find your cell phone, or if your cell phone battery dies, or if you lose network coverage, then you just might suffering from nomophobia.

There is one sure cure for nomophobia – Rockabilly music.

That is one of the concepts behind ‘Where in the World is Billy,’ a play beginning it’s three-day run Thursday night at the Susan Taylor Theatre at Amherst Regional High School.

The play is written and directed by Dale Fawthrop and features the Rockabilly band The Shakedown Combo and 12 youth from ARHS, some of who dance and some of who play in a band in a band called Taken by Surprise.

The play is about how technology has overtaken modern day lives.

The play features a curse put on cell phones and it turns cell phone users into zombies, and the only way to cure the zombies is to send Billy back to the 1950s.

He goes back to learn Rockabilly music and he brings it back to 2013 to break the spell.

Drew Pelagato plays keyboards in the band and he said rehearsals "have been a blast."

Justin Trueman plays in bass in the band and he says the play, “is an interesting way to express the way technology has overtaken our lives.

“The play exaggerates it in a fun way, but that’s the concept.”

Polegato says he likes Youtube and Trueman said he likes surfing the web on his phone.

They both say technology is bittersweet.

Polegato says you have to find a balance between communicating with technology and communicating in real life.

Trueman agrees.

“Technology is used for social communication but it also takes away from face-to-face communication, true communication,” said Trueman. “The play uses humour to show how funny it is that we communicate this way.”

Davie Goode, the guitarist for The Shakedown Combo, says working with the students has been a great experience.

“We’re working together well and we’ve had fun,” said Goode. “And we’ve created a song for the end of the show that we’ve been working on.”

He says he likes the whole concept of the play.

“Technology is changing life very quickly. We’re living different lives,” said Goode. “It good to play a Rockabilly musical like this and incorporate the music into a different story line. It’s really cool.”

The play runs from Thursday to Saturday and starts at 8 p.m. each night. With the door and ticket sales starting at 7 p.m. at ARHS

Advance tickets are also available at the JTW Health Guidance Centre, at 106 Victoria Street.

All proceeds from the show go towards the Rockabilly Festival in Amherst in September.

For more information call 667-1119.

Organizations: Amherst Regional High School, Susan Taylor Theatre, JTW Health Guidance Centre

Geographic location: AMHERST, 106 Victoria Street

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